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right now on msnbc, how about that weather? >> massive winter storm is pummeling much of the country bringing with it a lot of snow and ice. here is what it looks like in amarillo, texas, where they have a blizzard. they got up to eight inches of snow. and in new mexico a major interstate has been closed because of snow and icy conditions and there's already a
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state of emergency in arkansas. more than a foot of snow is expected along with a quarter n inch of ice. we're all over the story. our team of reporters are braving the elements in arkansas and oklahoma city. it is 10:00 a.m. on the east coast and 7:00 a.m. on the west. good morning. i'm david shuster reporting to you live from the new york headquarters of msnbc news. this morning president obama will dive headfirst into unfriendly territory as he heads to baltimore to speak with an all-republican audience. and the white house is now looking for a plan "b" for the 9/11 terror trials. politicians are saying we don't want the trial here in manhattan. plus, countdown to the olympic winter games. the u.s. curling team will be heading to vancouver in a couple of weeks. we'll talk to the captain of the women's team. but first, a nasty winter blast across much of the nation has shut down major highways, caused hundreds of accidents, left hundreds of thousands of people in the dark possibly for days. the storm is crawling across the
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country from new mexico all the way to north carolina. in new mexico heavy snow forced the closure of a major interstate, an air force base and many schools. the state will get more snow today reaching totals of 11 inches. snow and rain are big problems for texas. in abilene flooded roadways left vehicles underwater. and in oklahoma perhaps the most damage, more than 1.5 inches of ice toppled hundreds of power lines. power crews are so overwhelmed they say it could take days to get everyone's power back on. over 162,000 homes and businesses are without power. janet, what's the latest? >> reporter: good morning from an ice-covered oklahoma city where they are dealing with round two. everything is left covered in ice and like a sheet of ice. the governor has declared the state a disaster area. all 77 counties, most of the
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schools remain closed today. many didn't even bother to open yesterday. you could have walked through downtown and not seen anyone and it seems certain the conditions will be the same today. the airport, hundreds of flights canceled yesterday because of the ice storm and, again, we're expecting flight cancellations today. and for a while yesterday a stretch of 50 miles of interstate 44, one of the main arteries, was shut down because of snapped power lines. today some 160,000 homes are without power and the utility says it could be monday. monday in these 20-degree temperatures before power is restored to some areas. now the good news for the sooner state is this. the storm is starting to push off into the east. it will move into tennessee and the carolinas for the weekend. but today seems like another day of hazardous driving here in
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oklahoma and at school closings, business closings, because the streets literally are like ice rinks. that's it from here in oklahoma city. now back to you. >> i'm going to show you a few live pictures right now. first of all nashville, tennessee, where you can see the snow coming down. obviously very overcast. a very gray day in nashville. and then take a look at little rock, arkansas, where you can't even see through the camera. again, very difficult conditions in arkansas, tennessee, oklahoma. we will, of course, be monitoring all this throughout the day. a very difficult storm for everybody there and near whiteout conditions in nashville and in little rock. very, very heavy ice. in just moments president obama will hit the road again to sell his state of the union jobs message and later today will face a room filled with the biggest roadblocks agenda, congressional republicans. next hour in baltimore he'll outline his plan for a new jobs tax credit and then at high noon the president will address house
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republicans at their annual issues conference. yesterday's jobs town hall meeting may offer a preview of what the president has to say. >> i want the republicans off the sidelines. i want them working with us. to solve problems, not to score points. i want a partnership. >> nbc's luke russert is in baltimore covering the gop retreat and, luke, it doesn't get more intriguing than this. what's the likely reception? what's the buzz there as far as what president obama is going to face? >> reporter: well, president obama is expected to come here at noon to address the house republicans. he will talk to them for about five to ten minutes. a speech that's open to the media. he'll do an hour worth of q&a which they say they will really try to forge a friendship, a working relationship. they say they are very much looking forward to trying to better the relationship they have and they want to propose their specific ideas on
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everything from the economy to health care, to national defense. although i found it interesting i just came from a meeting with gop conference chairman mike pence who already threw the first barb calling obama's jobs tax credit proposal a jimmy carter-like tax. so it's not all nice and friendly so far, david. republicans also want the president to offer them something specific that they agree on and in his state of the union he mentioned the possibility of a nuclear power plant, maybe some drilling, something tangible they can say, look, we agree on something and we can go to the world and proclaim it. >> nbc's luke russert with the great assignment today in baltimore. great reporting as always, luke. thank you. we'll be watching this. >> you get new orleans. i get baltimore. >> indeed. >> reporter: you get new orleans, i get baltimore. i'll take it anymore. >> thanks, luke. let's bring in a strategist who served as press secretary for former new jersey senator jon corzine and john avalon, author of "independent nation: how
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accept trichl can change american politics." he was a chief spokes writer for rudy giuliani's campaign. the barbs are already starting. is that what we can can expect and is that smart politics? >> it's not smart politics. it's not what the american people want. the poll you took said 93% of americans think washington is too partisan. the other 7% still live in washington. that's what president obama campaigned against in 2008. that was his initial offer saying there are no red states or blue states. he may get written off as roll your eyes by the washington crowd but it's what the american people want to see. >> on that point, it's not a good idea for the president at least on the on-camera portion to attack the crowd that's been attacking him. >> no, and he's doing a good thing by going and talking to them. i was dit disheartened to see john boehner say he has principles, he's not going to negotiate for the sake of negotiating. what's the point then? either you want 100% of the
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loaf. the american people want these parties to work together. boehner's comments were disheartening. if i'm obama i'm going there thinking this guy doesn't want to negotiate on anything, what's the point? why am i wasting the gas mile age to go 50 miles to baltimore? >> here is what john boehner said about the president's state of the union address. watch. >> if the democrat leaders and the president are serious about getting our economy going again and putting people back to work, we can, in fact, work together to promote policies that will do that. but there was nothing last night in the president's speech to indicate that there was any willingness not to sit down and work together. >> is that fair? nothing in the president's speech? >> no. no. it's not. there is outreach on nuclear power. i think the cynicism is republicans will say there's been a lot of symbolism and not enough substance. that's fair. it's incumbent to actually make
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sure there is substance, that there is followthrough. the problem is and i write this in my new book, there are too many -- the extremes are more influential than ever before and so they end up determining the terms of the debate. they confuse partisanship with principle and that leads to the deadlock. >> and that's the danger for president obama, too, because if the democratic base sees him as being too conciliatory to a part of congress that progressives hate, that's a political problem for the president on the left. >> it is, it is. i think president obama has to be clear about the fact a lot of progressives think he's moved too much to triangulate, not enough to appease the base. this scott brown election this month in some ways gave the gop be careful what you wish for. now they can filibuster. now they have 41 votes to filibuster. they have to work together and boehner's comments were so he helpful because he's not just there to throw rocks. he's there to actually help lead the country. at the end of the day he's not
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going to help to do that, then the gop has no responsibility whatsoever to say that they can govern as an equal partner. >> thank you both. great stuff. we appreciate it. we'll be watching, of course. >> thank you. >> tune in to "meet the press" on sunday. david gregory will have an exclusive interview with john boehner. more along the lines you've heard from our guests. a new audio tape reportedly from osama bin laden blaming the united states and others for global warming. the voice is apparently calling for the world to boycott american goods and stopping, quote, the wheels of the american economy. nbc has not been able to verify if the voice is, in fact, bin laden's. also developing now there is a growing chance that the obama administration may move the trial of mastermind of 9/11 out of manhattan.
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they announced khalid shaikh mohammed and others would be tried just blocks from the world trade center, not too far from here. at first new york city mayor michael bloomberg supported the plan but he changed his mind this week. >> the federal government could find a site that didn't cost a billion dollars, which using downtown will, and it will also impact traffic and commerce and people's lifestyles downtown and it would be great if we didn't do it. >> that prompted three other hig high-profile new york democrats, senators charles schumer, gillibrand to make their concerns public. last night a justice department official told nbc news that it is looking into contingency plans. we'll talk more about this coming up with new york's former republican governor george pataki in just a couple of minutes. and breaking news on msnbc. america's economy is growing again. a short time ago the commerce department released the first
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reading of the fourth quarter of 2009. it says the economy grew at a rate of 5.7% can the fastest in more than six years. that makes two consecutive quarters of growth and the strongest evidence yet that the worst recession since the great depression has officially ended. but of course with unemployment still at 10% and the real estate market still struggling, economists say it will be months before we feel like we are in a true recovery. just over 30 minutes into the trading day, the markets are up. the dow up by 54 points. again, good news from the congress department this morning. investors like it, as you can see, on the boards. toyota says it has figured out a fix for the gas pedal problem that force add recall of vehicles in china, the u.s. and europe. they notified workers in an e-mail late yesterday. an update is expected later today. the company says the fix has been presented to federal regulators. meantime a house panel scheduled
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a hearing into whether toyota responded too slowly to complaints about sudden acceleration problems. officials are deepening their investigation into the four men accused of trying to interfere with a senator's phone plus senator mary landrieu is reacting to the explanation from the suspects' lawyer. later, a mother was pushing her 1-year-old daughter in a stroller at night. no big deal, right? wrong. wait until you hear where she was trying to take her little girl. and ufo sighting in ireland. there's a lot of buzz. we'll be talking to someone who has been investigating ufo sightings for years. to use legalzoom for important legal documents. at legalzoom we'll help you incorporate your business, file a patent, make a will and more. you can complete our online questions in minutes. then we'll prepare your legal documents and deliver them directly to you. so start your business,
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as we continue to watch this nasty weather storm, here is the
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storm track. you can see how this is affecting the eastern two-thirds of the country. here's the expected snowfall levels for where you may be living. you can see it gets particularly brutal around norfolk and then here's the latest live picture from nashville, tennessee. again, very dark, overcast as they deal with the brunt of the storm right now. we will keep you posted. developing today, closing arguments in the trial of the man who admits killing george tiller, who performed late-term abortions. in chilling testimony yesterday accused killer scott roeder took the stand in his own defense and confessed to the jury that he shot dr. tiller. >> do you dispute any of the evidence provided to the court? >> i do not. >> do you regret what you did? is. >> no, i don't. >> on may 31st, 2009, did you go to the church and shoot to kill george tiller?
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>> yes. >> nbc news just it tis krz pete williams joins us. for all the discussion about roeder's motives this has been a cut and dried case in terms of his actions leading up to this, right? >> reporter: it was, and that's why his lawyers have hoped for a defense that they would say he was trying to stop an imminent harm that he believed he needed to kill dr. tiller to keep him from killing more children in abortions. but the judge did not allow that defense. he'll have closing instructions to the jury this morning. he'll say that under the kansas law to have this imminent harm thing, you have to show, number one, that there was some imminent danger and, number two, you were trying to stop something that was illegal. the judge said there's nothing imminent about a guy who is in church. that's where dr. tiller was killed and that abortion is legal in kansas. he's face a charge of first-degree murder. prosecutors say there's ample evidence of premeditation. he bought the gun several weeks before the murder. he thought several times about killing dr. tiller. thought about it for months in advance.
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so it's now a first-degree murder case, david, and the only question for the jury is guilty or not guilty. >> nbc's pete williams, thank you very much. we'll keep everybody posted throughout the day on that case as they go to closing arguments and possibly give it to the jury. pete, thanks again. a lawyer for one of the four men accused of trying to interfere with senator mary landrieu's phone system says the suspects just wanted to embarrass the senator. james o'keefe, joseph basel, stan dai and flanagan. one of the defense lawyers in the case says the republican activists were not trying to wiretap landrieu's phones but wanted to get video of her staff ignoring phone calls from constituents. protesters gathered over anger over support of health care reform and a sweetener for her state that helped her get onboard the democratic legislation.
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protesters claim many of the calls were rolling over to voice mail. o'keefe, who made this infamous hidden camera video while posing as a pimp to target a.c.o.r.n. workers, has been ordered to live with his parents according to with us now is brett blackledge. there's been a lot of discussion, former prosecutors have been telling me the charging document will likely get altered in the next ten days possibly with the superseding indictment. what do you know about that? >> well, i think you're right. isn't that what we're looking to see the next development, how does this case shape up in the form of an indictment and what specifics do prosecutors gather to produce these charges? that's what we're looking for. >> you had some great reporting yesterday talking about how james o'keefe essentially telegraphed at least some of his intentions that something was coming just last week. take us through that.
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>> yes. one of my colleagues was able to talk to a number of the attendees at the luncheon in the pelican institute. this is a nonprofit policy group based out of new orleans. they have a luncheon and they helped us to sort of get a picture of what james talked about while he was there and their interactions with him. he sort of teased that he was working on a project in new orleans yet they didn't really know the details of it. >> as far as senators mary landrieu, she has reacted to these defense claims that this was all part of some effort to somehow embarrass her staff because people couldn't get through to her phone systems. she said, quote, attorneys are hired to spin for their clients. good luck. what's the mood today in new orleans over all of this? >> well, you know, there's an interesting point there, the idea that as all of us try to understand exactly what happened
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and what the implications are, i think her point is whatever the defense case may turn out to be and whatever the intentions may be there's a sense this is a very serious matter obviously and to what extent a crime and the elements of a crime are obvious here, that's going to be the more serious issue. regardless of what the intent of the four were. the real interest to find out frankly what happened and in the course of it happening what laws were broken. >> associated press reporter brett blackledge, thank you very much. we do expect to learn more perhaps in the next week. again, there's usually a ten-day window for prosecutors to go ahead and update the charging document with either a superseding indictment or more detailed criminal complaint based on the early stages of their investigation which is, of course, deepening now. so you want to get into the white house, right?
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don't wear this. a white house state dinner party crasher t-shirt. and this is no knockoff. this is right at the top that it is official. there are other ones out there but this is official. get them while they last at washington, d.c.'s reagan national airport for the low price of $9.99. nine days ago the salahis declined to tell a panel how they got into the first state dinner. i'm not sure anyone at the white house would be amused by those t-shirts but we are. does it look like a ufo to you? at least one expert believes it could be an alien spacecraft or a secret human aircraft. we'll talk with that expert. time for your business entrepreneur of the week. kim and mark benson were out of work be a down to their last
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$18,000. she took the lessons she learned losing 200 pounds and started kim's light bagels and a weight watcher's meeting website. they sell thousands of bags of bagels a month. host: could switching to geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance? host: does charlie daniels play a mean fiddle? ♪ fiddle music charlie:hat's how you do it son. vo: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
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so who does this -- a reno mom is facing charges today accused by police of strolling her 1-year-old child into a
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nevada bar to drink. it was all caught on security tape. you see the mother with her daughter outside the bar trying to push her daughter inside in a controller. patrons stopped her, took the child and called police. police say they found the woman's other child, a 2-year-old, sleeping at home alone, a short distance away. authorities say the mother's alcohol level was already almost three times the legal limiting, facing now two counts of child neglect. in ireland a lot of people have been talking recently about some very strange lights in the sky that were caught on videotape. and see for yourself. this is the footage that's getting thousands of hits every day on youtube. the person who claims to have shot the footage says it shows a triangle-shaped object moving at incredible speed in the skies over dublin, ireland. joining us right now from london is self-proclaimed ufo expert nick pope. nick, thanks for joining us. you are known for your work investigating strange phenomena.
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what's your take on this one? >> well, it's certainly one of the most interesting ufo videos i've ever seen. i mean, i used to work for the ministry of defense investigating ufos. we used to get this sort of stuff. usually they were indistinct but this is clearly a structured craft of some kind. >> it does seem to look like similar it to other video. the website says the video looks very similar to video that was actually made for ufo contest a few years ago. so let's go ahead and show our viewers this other video from and, again, the fact that people would say that there's a similarity there, what do you make of it? >> well, these sorts of videos are always hugely controversial and it's very difficult sometimes to be clear. all sorts of people see a story like this, start posting things on the internet and it makes it very difficult to get to the bottom of where and when this was taken but there's no doubt
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about it, this is a fascinating thing. now whether it's a secret prototype aircraft as some people have suggested or whether it's something a little bit more exotic, i don't know but it's certainly interesting. >> and, nick, any way to doctor the video to make this? one of my producers is say iingt looks like the old video game asteroids some of us played as teenagers in the early '80s. any way to may the video to make a joke? >> yes, unfortunately, there is a lot of that. to get to the bottom of this mystery we'd need to get hold of the original camera on which this was taken and investigate it that way but until that happens, who knows? >> and you haven't seen that original camera yet, right? have you asked? any indication they're going to bring it to you? >> i've tried to put some feelers out and get hold of it but so far no luck. as i say there's a lot of controversy about even when and
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where this was taken. clearly it's taken through night vision camera so it's showing up things perhaps the naked eye can't see but, no, we're still trying to get the original. >> well, nick, keep us posted on how that goes and thanks for coming in. nick pope, a ufo expert from london. thank you. >> thank you. should overweight passengers have to pay more to fly? a new poll says yes. you may recall this image taken by an airline stewardess of an overweight passenger on a plane sparked a lot of buzz on the internet, now the travel website asked people to weigh in on the issue and a whopping 76% said airlines should charge a fat tax. airlines would ask those who could not fit comfortably into a standard sized airline seat to purchase a second one. airlines usually offer the second seat at a discounted rate. tony blair is defending his decision to join the u.s. in attacking iraq.
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a lot of prominent citizens of england angry with blair's call and they are not keeping quiet. heavy ice and snow are blanketing a huge part of the united states today. the winter storms have caused major highways to be closed. they brought down power lines and left thousands of people in the dark. and countdown to the winter games. the u.s. olympic curling team is preparing to head to vancouver. we will talk with the captain of the women's team. ♪ it's time for you to sweep tdd# 1-800-345-2550
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tdd# 1-800-345-2550 to help with my investments. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 so where's that help when i need it? tdd# 1-800-345-2550 if i could change one thing... tdd# 1-800-345-2550 we'd all get a ton of great advice tdd# 1-800-345-2550 just for being a client. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 i mean, shouldn't i be able to talk about my money tdd# 1-800-345-2550 without it costing me a fortune? tdd# 1-800-345-2550 if i had my way, investment firms would be tdd# 1-800-345-2550 falling all over themselves to help me with my investments. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 (announcer) at schwab investors rule. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 are you ready to rule? welcome back to msnbc news. i'm david shuster live in new york. a massive storm is causing massive problems in the united states. ice, snow, and a lot of people without power. also an emotional hearing in london today about tony blair's
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decision to join the war on iraq. 14 days until the winter olympics, how the u.s. curling team is preparing for the big games. developing now the u.s. justice department tells nbc news that it's looking into other places to hold the trial of accused 9/11 mastermind. just yesterday new york city mayor michael bloomberg said he called attorney general eric holder to ask him to consider locations other than manhattan for the trial of khalid shaikh mohammed and democrats are coming out against the idea. take a listen to what california senator dianne feinstein told nbc's andrea mitchell. >> i think the dynamic has changed now and i think that the administration ought to listen to the mayor, listen to the mayor's concern, and candidly make a change. there is nothing wrong with making a change. >> joining us now by phone is george pataki and, governor pataki, you and i have had a lot of up if sparring over the future of ground zero. as much as i think you want me
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to go there again, let's go to the terror trials. what do you think is going on? >> i think it was absurd, to be kind, to plan the whole khalid shaikh mohammed's trial in lower manhattan. it would have been a catastrophe for that very important part of new york city. people live there. it's a very important area. i want to make a broader point here. moving the terrorist trial from lower manhattan to another court is a very small step in the right direction. they should not be tried in civilian courts. that is the blunder. and if they're willing to change their decision to try it in lower manhattan, i would urge them to revisit the whole question and not treat terrorists and mass murderers as civilians with defense counsel and the right to turn a trial into a propaganda show. they should be tried in military tribunals. >> in your view was it a blunder for the bush administration and earlier administrations to try
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more than 200 terrorists in civilian courts and, again, they got convictions including here in new york. >> well, it depends on whether they're a citizen of the united states or not. but when they're clearly not as the christmas day bomber was not, as the khalid shaikh mohammed is not, they should be tried in military tribunals. it's just absurd to give terrorists miranda warnings and so we don't know what they know about other plots against the united states about who their other trainees are, about who is making these training programs work. it is a horrendous decision that jeopardizes the safety of the american people. >> you will acknowledge there have been non-u.s. citizens like mir hossein mousavi who have been tried. >> i have no doubt these terrorists will be convicted. what we need, though, is to first of all get as much information from them as possible about other terrorists,
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about training camps, about plots against america and if they have defense attorneys as we saw with the christmas day bomber, we don't get that information and, second, to not allow a trial to become a propaganda bonanza turning these evil terrorists into defendants who are somehow portrayed as victims of american justi. so we have the legal right to use military tribunals. it's been done throughout american history. it is clear that we can do that and if they're going to reverse the decision to use lower manhattan, that's a small positive step and that's good. but revisit the whole question. >> former new york governor george pataki, thanks as always for coming on. >> nice to be on with you. former prime minister tony blair is facing a grueling hearing right now over his role in the iraq war. a special commission is investigating britain's role in the invasion and whether
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decisions made were legal. among the many questions did blair make a pact with george w. bush to invade iraq a full year before britain's parliament approved the invasion? blair says it was iraq's ongoing defiance and then 9/11 that changed everything for him. >> the reason for dealing with iraq, and i think i said this at the time, it was a breech of the resolutions, ten years of defiance and i felt, we felt, it was important that we make it absolutely clear he has to come back into compliance. >> the hearings are going on right now in a london convention center. nbc's tom aspell is there. tom, why don't you describe the scene for us. >> reporter: well, certainly to tony blair has been taking questions in a calm and dignified manner, laying out his inside view of the british government's position at the runup to the iraq war. he's really here to answer three key questions here.
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was there an agreement for regime change or simply to rid saddam hussein of weapons of mass destruction? was the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction conclusive at the time? and what was the legality of going to war? but what's interesting is his mindset over going up against the iraqis seems to have been formed in the immediate aftermath of their 9/11 and here is is what he had to say about that. over 3,000 people had been killed on the streets of new york and this is what changed my perception of risk. if these people inspired by this religious fanaticism could have killed 30,000, they would have. we thought it was worth trying to contain it. the crucial thing after september 11 is that the calculus of risk changed. now that's an interesting runup well before the invasion of iraq and tony blair has gone on to outline the legal steps that convinced him an invasion was
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possible. david? >> nbc's tom aspell in london. tom, thanks for the update. fascinating, fascinating confrontations there. scott brown winning the massachusetts senate race was a shock to many democrats including those in the white house and it turns out white house officials weren't even really planning on what they would do if they lost their 60-seat super majority in the senate. and senator john mccain is facing an uphill battle in his bid for re-election. how difficult a primary is he facing? of butternut squash, blended with delicate herbs. v8 golden butternut squash. from campbell's. a soup so velvety and delicious you won't be able to contain yourself. campbell's v8 soups. ♪ ♪
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disease as compared to men who had sex once a month or less. a large part of the country is bracing for a second blast of nasty winter weather. winter storm warnings are in effect from new mexico all the way across to north carolina. one of the hardest hit areas is in oklahoma where nearly 2 inches of ice has toppled hundreds of power lines leaving tens of thousands of people in the dark. the storm is proving too much for firefighters and local residents. >> just overwhelming. we couldn't take care of it. we told the dispatch eers. >> it's bad. it's really, really bad. hopefully it's not going to be like it was in 2007. >> in arkansas governor mike bebe has declared a state of emergen emergency. the storm is expected to dump up to a foot of snow on the natural state. joining us now is the weather channel's adam berg. adam, what's in the forecast
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where you are? >> reporter: it's only going to be getting worse. in fact, we've already had a ton of freezing rain here, probably a half inch to three-quarters of an inch. roads aren't too bad yet. no major road closures, but that's all going to be changing. no major power outages yet either but that will be changing. let me show you why. when you look at these trees, incredible amounts of ice piling up. we're talking half inch to thee-quarters of an inch here. these power lines won't be able to handle this. these branches are too heavy. they fall on the power lines, you get major power outages like we saw in oklahoma. oklahoma alone over 160,000 power outages. we think, unfortunately, that will be happening here. no major reports yet but that certainly will be changing. this is what it looks like across the nation. you can see the radar and satellite. it's a pretty wide system that's going to be rolling east, maybe over a foot of snow for parts of tennessee and the carolinas. back to you, david. >> weather channel's adam berg, thank you very much. hang in there with everything.
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all the snow falling right now is good news for skiers but it appears some ski resorts are exaggerating their snowfall t e totals. a new study reveals ski resorts across the united states and canada reported an average of 23% more fresh snow on the weekends than during the week. two dartmouth college professors compared resort totals to nearby weather stations. the resorts say they are not always in the same snowy spots as the slopes. the obama administration and democrats in congress trying to put the nation's focus on efforts to create jobs. health care reform has moved to the back burner at least for now and that's prompted mary landrieu, a democrat, to say the health care bill is on life support. she hopes the administration is giving no guidance to congress and how they should proceed. republican scott brown upset democrat martha coakley in the race for that senate seat held by the late ted kennedy for
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nearly five decades. the white house now admits it was caught off guard by the defeat and senior adviser david axelrod told reporters yesterday there was little discussion among senior officials about what a democratic loss would mean for their agenda. talking points memo senior reporter christine bella it tomi. >> the white house line on this is that they were relying on information. the flares didn't go up until ten days before the election. but as we all know that was really too late for health care to get done. now as we're talking about plan "a" and plan "b" and potential plan "c" people are forgetting they had the votes before christmas. they could have probably bumped this up a little bit and gotten it done before january even came around. >> here's what axelrod said to reporters. quote, widespread assumptions that the seat was safe. the truth is the flares went up
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about ten days before that election. there wasn't much discussion about the implications if things went the other way. what are you hearing now about what they want to do with health care? you saw, for example, a key senator yesterday, kent conrad, suggested, yes, he will be in favor of reconciliation. if the senate does that, nancy pelosi says she can get the votes for the senate bill. what's the white house take on this or are they, again, letting congress try to figure it out? had. >> the white house really says this is congress to be able to count the votes and make sure they have them for passage. they insist this is not been put off. if health care were to end, if president obama were to walk away from it, that would be a huge mistake politically. they want to start campaigning on it to tell the american people what's in the bill, the good things that will kick in right away. this is something that there still is no real clear path for how it's going to happen but the white house says that they are working every single day with members of congress and leadership to make it happen. at the same time you have white
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house chief of staff rahm emanuel telling "the new york times" in a story today that this is priority number three after jobs and financial reforms so it's a bit of a conflicting message. >> a mixed message indeed. kristina bellantoni. more from her colleagues at according to a recent poll 40% of arizonians approve of the job senator john mccain is doing for them in washington. the last time mccain's approval number was this low was back in 1994. 16 years ago after named one of the keating five. he could face a very tough primary battle against conservative j.d. hayworth, a former member of congress. we are just 14 days from the olympic winter games in vancouver, one of the most popular sports, believe it or not, curling. we'll talk with the captain of the women's team next.
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today marks the sad end of an era of american history. a tuskegee airman considered the only black ace pilot has died. lee archer died at a new york city hospital at the age of 90. archer is seen here in the middle with -- there he's seen just right there in that picture in that photograph with the red tie. archer was credited with shooting down five enemy planes during world war ii. the tuskegee airmen were america's first black fighter pilot group in world war ii. we are just 14 days away from the start of the winter olympic games in vancouver. athletes all over the world are gearing up for their shot at gold. the olympic torch is also a little bit closer to vancouver. the relay passed through british columbia yesterday and look at the fans lined up to cheer on
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the racers. we're joined by debbie, who will soon be on her way to vancouver, a former world champion and captain of the women's curling team. debbie, quickly explain what is curling and why should we watch? >> well, curling's a sport that's played on ice. i have three other teammates so four people play against four other people and it's a really interesting and fun game. it's a little different. we play with 42-pound granite curling stones and it's just a lot of fun. i would love for everyone to come out and watch us on tv. >> i can't wait to try it some day. i loved shuffle board. is there a similarity between shuffle board and what goes on here? >> maybe a little bit, but not really. we're sliding around stone about 145 feet of ice, so, i mean, if you have to compare it to another sport, shuffle board is close but i like to compare it to golf because there's a lot of
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similarities in curling and golf as far as strategy, how long a game takes, stuff like that. but it is a very different sport. >> and what is the one thing that needs to happen well in the curling event in order for your team to win the gold? >> well, we have to make our shots. we put a lot of emphasis in rock placements and our strategy. a lot of the teams out there that are at the olympics can throw the stone just as well as we can, but what's going to make the difference is our strategy. we have to beat our opponents with our strategy and rock placement. >> debbie, you know that guy john shuster who is on the -- was on the men's olympic team? >> of course i do. >> okay. i have a brother named john shuster so we're pulling just because of that. no relation, of course. debbie, good luck to you. thank you so much. we'll be watching here and good luck to you. we hope you bring home the gold in curling. we appreciate you coming on. >> thank you very much.
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>> and, again, all of you, there are just 14 days until the start of the winter olympics in vancouver. you can watch the olympic games on the networks of nbc universal, all of them. that does it for me. i'm david shuster. i'll see you back here at 3:00 p.m. alex witt picks things up next.
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MSNBC News Live
MSNBC January 29, 2010 10:00am-11:00am EST

News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events. New.

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